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plextor px-708uf: cannot get disk type

I have a Plextor PX-708UF (USB 2.0) on a Red Hat Linux 9 machine. When I try to burn an ISO from either xcdroast or the dvdrecord command line, I get the following:

Unlocked features: ProDVD Clone
Limited  features:
This copy of cdrecord is licensed for: private/research/educational_non-commercial_use
Using libscg version 'schily-0.8'.
Device type    : Removable CD-ROM
Version        : 2
Response Format: 1
Vendor_info    : 'PLEXTOR '
Identifikation : 'DVDR   PX-708A  '
Revision       : '1.03'
Device seems to be: Generic mmc2 DVD-R/DVD-RW.
Using generic SCSI-3/mmc-3 DVD+R driver (mmc_dvdplusr).
Supported modes: TAO PACKET SAO SAO/R96P SAO/R96R RAW/R16 RAW/R96P RAW/R96R
cdrecord.prodvd: Input/output error. read disk info: scsi sendcmd: no error
CDB:  51 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 24 00
status: 0x2 (CHECK CONDITION)
Sense Bytes: 70 00 00 00 00 00 00 0A 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
Sense Key: 0x0 No Additional Sense, Segment 0
Sense Code: 0x00 Qual 0x00 (no additional sense information) Fru 0x0
Sense flags: Blk 0 (not valid)
cmd finished after 0.002s timeout 240s
cdrecord.prodvd: Cannot get disk type.

The media is 4x DVD+R from Memorex. This is not an inherent problem with the drive or media, since I can burn the same iso with growisofs. Xcdroast otherwise works (I used it to make the iso file), and it correctly detects a CD-R (48x Memorex) when I tap ATIP-Info and it's in the drive. I don't have DVD-R to test, but I will do that. Perhaps this is a firmware issue--I see there is a version 1.04 available for this drive. (I gather the 708A is basically the same drive.) Can one upgrade Plextor firmware in Linux, or do I have to put this on a Windows machine to do it?

Any thoughts?  My specs are below.

Asus A7V333/AMD Athlon XP 2100+
Linux 2.4.20-20.9 (Red Hat 9)

magliery at csb.yale.edu

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